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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,837 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,837
Reviews: 774
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 2,986
Gots: 1,096 | FT: 80
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Starting in 2014, bottled Darkness will be aged in whiskey barrels. This listing is ONLY for Darkness that is NOT barrel-aged. For 2014 Darkness go here:  http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/p ... 14/141724/ 

Labels:
2007-Grim Reaper
2008-Devil
2009-Mummy
2010-Vampire
2011-Zombie
2012 - Werewolf
2013 - Brewcifer

(Beer added by: ryantupy on 10-08-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Darkness Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,837 | Reviews: 774 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Cresant
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this 750 mL brown bottle into a Duvel glass. Wax was dark chrome. The body was the color of darkness. The huge tan head was creamy and dense, it fought back.

Smell was grainy and fruity. There was a bright, clean, fresh aroma. I did not detect coffee or chocolate, which I expected. Well hidden alcohol.

Taste was cherries, and stone fruits. A bit lactic/milky. Rich. Lightly bready. Muted hops. Sweet, but not too much. Again I did not pick up chocolate or coffee, however, this is one of the easiest drinking RISs I've ever had. Very well hidden alcohol.

Mouthfeel was luxurious. Rich and silky smooth. Overall I would describe this beer as ripe fruit wrapped in velvet. Dangerously drinkable.

Cresant, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of pepsican
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

07 vintage on tap. Poured very dark brown, thin tan head. Has a strong hop aroma. Tastes extremely hoppy with all sorts of nice stout goodness hiding behind the initial blast of hops. Chocolate, espresso, oatmeal, roasted malts, dark fruits. You can tell there is a completely different beer hiding under everything. Hop flavor was similar to furious, which to me is a good thing. Finished thick and oily, nice and creamy. alcohol goes unnoticed. I can only imagine what this will turn into as the hops drop back and everything else comes forward. One of the most complex beers I've ever tried.

pepsican, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
3.9/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours thick, oily and black, so black no light passes through, with a nice mocha head. Big aromas on the nose: hops, chocolate, roast, coffee and licorice. The first taste brings a suggestion of hops, followed quickly by warming alcohol. Roasted malt, dark fruit and chocolate covered espresso beans. Finishes thick and rich, with a nice kick of alcohol heat. A very good beer.

emmasdad, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of ChadQuest
3.9/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drove over an hour into Chicago where thanks to the Craft Brewers convention there was a firkin being tapped that i was able to partake in.

Got my tulip for $7 which i thought very reasonable, and the head was just under a finger but tightly packed and coffee colored. black body under.

This is a sweet one through and through, there is just a small hint of roast and alcohol trying to hold the sweetness in check. It's not cloying, don't get me wrong, just absolutly on the sweet end of the spectrum. I got alot of milk chocolate, with a pretty syrupy sensation, not only on the mouth feel but the flavor as well, which was not really detrimental but just differant.

This was medium heavy thickness, but honestly thinner then i was expecting for such a stout.

The finish was a bit thin and had me sipping it every 3 seconds, i would never guess this was over 10%, no way, way to drinkable. i could have 40oz of this easily.

Glad i made the trip to enjoy this beer with some of my too seldom seen friends in the city.

ChadQuest, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of NorthsideFred
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it on tap at Jake Melnick's, (thanks to the Craft Brew Convention).

A: Looks great. Black with a 1/2" thick dark brown head.

S: Sweet and roasty.

T: Very smooth; the alcohol is very well hidden. Quite sweet. Based on some of the other reviews on here, I expected it to be hoppy, but my pour wasn't hoppy at all.

M: Not as thick as most RIS I've had.

D: Very smooth. You would never guess that this is over 10% ABV! Very drinkable; although, I suspect the sweetness would get to you after awhile.

Overall a great beer, and one that I'd order again!

NorthsideFred, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of jt31914
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'08 Bomber aged for a year and a half or so.

A: Couple fingers of head, dark black color with coffee colored lacing/head. Not too carbonated except at the top of the beer; no bubbling in the body of the brew.

S: Strong! I could smell it from five feet away; it is a wonderfully sweet aroma of chocolate, coffee, licorice, and barley that is balanced by oats. The oat and barley are dominant and there is a mellow alcohol melded in.

T: Super sweet and malty with licorice, chocolate, and barley on the palate. This is balanced by the oats and bitter coffee on the finish. The alcohol is super smooth and pleasant, and this beer reminds me of a better, sweeter, and more drinkable version of GI's BCS.

M/D: It just sits in your mouth and you never want to swallow. Super smooth, creamy and drinkable.

This is the new best beer I've ever had... by a decent margin.

jt31914, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of urwithdave
3.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tnx to gtreid for sharing this one at our stout throw down! 09 bottle poured into my cigar city snifter.

A- Midnight black in color. A solid 1' 1/2" dark brown head that has pretty decent retention. Nice lacing.

S- Big molasses and booze. Malts and a slight hint of hops.

T- Very sweet molasses and dark chocolate. Some dried fruits, mainly prunes. The alcohol takes the spotlight and kind of drowns out the other flavors. There is a bit of earthly hops.

M- Kind of thin, almost oily. I would have def preferred a little more thickness.

D- A little more time would've helped this one out. The alcohol was still very hot.

urwithdave, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of oglmcdgl
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle split with onix1agr. Thanks to kbutler for the hook up.

A- pitch black and oily that's for sure with a finger of coffee colored creamy head. The cap vanishes into the deep after a bit. Deep ruby glow when brightly lite from behind.

S- dark brown sugar and bakers chocolate. Pumpernickel bread. Dark berries and some spice. Deep roasted malts and maybe some molasses.

T- there is a lot going on in the dark. Tons of dark roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Brown sugar and blackberries. There some grapefruit in there too and it really picks up the fruit aspect, balances out the peppery roast, and brightens up the dark malty sweetness. Maple pepper bacon? No, but there is a very mild savory quality and it really works for me. Touch of heat.
M- thick and chewy, oil and syrup. Coats the mouth so completely but has just the right amount of carb to cut the soup. The slightest linger, I almost want a bit more.

D- with such a complex flavor profile and abv I wouldn't say its a session beer but damn if this is not easy going.

oglmcdgl, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of beerwolf77
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to darklordlager for sending this my way after simply mentioning that I'd never tried it. Talk about a true beer advoacate.

2009 vintage

Split with Andy during our epic beer tasting. Poured into my pint glass the beer is a the true definition of a blackhole. A waterfall of cascading bubbles rain down over nearly half the glass. The thick dark mocha head rises to a full three fingers before receding to leave a emense lace ring.

The aroma is very sweet with loads of citrus fruit and pine. The usual RIS suspects are present as well. Dark chocolate, coffee, roast malt and hints of campfire. I actually get a touch of peanut butter too.

The flavor is a huge blast of choclate covered grapefruit. I like hoppy stouts but this is insane. Once past the hops you get a fair amount coffee, molasses, roasted malt and a hint of smoke.

Full thick body. Very used motor oil like. Light if any carbonation.

Overall a hop bomb RIS. The drinkability suffers for me with the two opposing flavors. I would love to try one with some age on it. Maybe mellow out those hops a bit.

EDIT:

After having this on cask at GTMW (one of hte first samples I grabbed) I'm bumping my scores up for this. It was truly sublime with some age on it.

beerwolf77, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ahalloin for sharing this at my most recent tasting.

2008 vintage. Eerie photo of the devil on the label. Eek!

A: Very dark, big beige head and great lacing.

S: Big roasted malts with a very present hop profile, much more so than I am accustomed to. This beer smells awesome.

T: Hops are surprisingly present and delicious. Rich roasted malt with bitter chocolates. Wow, this is amazing beer. This beer stands among the best imperial stouts I've had the pleasure of drinking.

M: Really smooth. ABV hidden extremely well.

D: I need to attend Darkness Day to really test this beer's drinkability :)

Huhzubendah, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of morimech
3.7/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

Appearance- Not quite black but a dark brown during the pour, appears dark black in the glass. A large brown head with excellant retention. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Smell- A large hoppy nose. Resiny and citrus fruit mostly. A little dark malt in the background. Smells more like a DIPA than a RIS.

Taste- Again this is dominated by the hops. Sticky and fruity. Bitterness is high even with several months on this bottle. Malt is a secondary player giving some roasted and chocolate notes. Alcohol does not really play a major role in the taste.

Mouthfeel- Not as big and thick as other RIS's. Still has good carbonation and texture.

Drinkability- With each passing year it seems Darkness becomes less of a style dominator. More of a Black IPA at this point. Hope Surly goes back to the 2007 recipe for 2010. I would take an Old Rasputin or Storm King over this.

morimech, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml of Darkness is coming my way! I knew one day I would be able to get a bottle of my own, but I didn't expect it so soon. I got this in a trade back in November. From a 2009 Vintage, on to the beer:

The cap has been taken off, so there is no turning back. It is black as black can be, no amount of lighting is gonna get through. The espresso colored head on top has a finger's worth of thickness and retention, and it has good retention. Thing rings of lacing cling to the glass. It's a very resiny smelling imperial stout. There's a lot of it. Some of the pure hoppiness still exists, and among other aromas are molasses, unsweetened chocolate

Unlike other imperial stouts, Darkness is plenty hoppy. Not resiny like the smell, just hop juice. Yeah, hop juice. Sweet tropical juice, orange, some citrus tang. Quite honestly, it resembles more of a yummy DIPA than a stout. But around its edges are yummy notes of chocolate fudge. More and more malty imperial stout hit the taste buds are more beer is consumed. The alcohol is buried extremely well, and it's not thick or viscous, rolls off the tongue with ease...creamy. Mmmm. It's leaving some tasty hoppy-sweet nectar as it dries around my lips.

I'm not as huge of a fan of hoppy imperial stouts as others geeks, but I do like Darkness and its hoppy profile. Needless to say, I'm very happy to have called a bottle of it my own.

DoubleJ, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of BearsOnAcid
2.95/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

2010 vintage

Incredibly sweet, cloying beer. I had trouble finishing my sample. It was like drinking molasses and hoppy wort. I did not think this beer was worthy of its praise to begin with. Now I have no doubt that this beer is pure hype.

2008 vintage.

Darkness poured out black with a nice head produced from its big hopping addition for an imperial stout. Reminds me of Stone's RIS.

It's still hoppy after a year plus in this bottle. Seems to have faded them into an earthy smell. Light sweetness and dark malts blend into the aroma.

This beer has a lot of balance going for it. Light hops, chocolate, roasted barley, and balanced sweetness make it very easy to drink at this age. There's moderate carbonation to it as well.

This beer still reminds me of a well aged Stone RIS though.

BearsOnAcid, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle. Beer is black with a thick brown head of small bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is sweet and some roastiness. Smells good.

The beer is sweet and has a definite chocolate bitter / semisweet flavor to it. There is a nice maltiness to the beer that is really nice. Beer overall has a medium body and as it warms there is more caramel in the palate. Drinkability high and mouthfeel is high. I'd be interested in the other vintages.

drabmuh, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of br3wmeister
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 Darkness

A- The beer pours a jet black color with a perfect silky brown head good retention and nice lacing.

S- Extremely complex aroma. Chocolate, figs, black licorice, caramel, molasses, dark roasted malt, toffee, vanilla, almonds, coffee and citrus hops all work together to make this one of the best smelling beers ever.

T- Huge malty beer, dark chocolate, figs, plums, black licorice, some peppery alcohol, vanilla, almonds, some red wine like flavors, and spicy bitter hops. This is one of the most complex tasting beers I have ever had. Fantastic tasting beer.

M- Silky smooth full bodied mouth feel. Oily and mouth coating sweetness with a slightly dry finish.

This beer was great fresh but with over a year on it the potential for this beer is really coming out.

br3wmeister, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes on Jan 30, 2010. 2009 Vintage

A - Ok, I can definitely see why it's called Darkness. That's all you see, if it's something to be seen at all. Maybe your eyes aren't worthy of seeing it. But damn, it's pitch black and nothing shows up around the edges, even in light. Tan head that refuses to go away. No lace. 4.5

S - Well now this is most surprising. It's not your typical sweet and fruity RIS, yet it's not an overly hopped and bitter one either. I pick up a touch of earthiness from the hops, followed by a blend of dark chocolate, spiced rum, prunes, coffee beans, and cream. Maybe a hint of vanilla too? Well, whatever this is, it's causing a nasal addiction and I very nearly snorted this up my nose. 5.0

T - This is a BIG beer. But you can hardly taste the alcohol. The chocolate is the most prominent aspect of the flavor. Bitterness is definitely there but is well blended with the malts, which obviously include chocolate malt and roasted barley. Lots of toastiness and roastiness. Caramel sweetness is in the background, letting everything else shine. I'm kind of at a loss to describe this baby. 5.0

M - Not as thick and viscous as it looks. It's rich and robust, yet drinks like a beer should. Nice and delicate carbonation. 5.0

D - Yes. Indeed. 4.5

DmanGTR, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of Cedromar
3.95/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

C'est la vie.

2009 Vintage acquired in trade, but I can't remember with whom. If you see this and we did the trade, shoot me a BM and I'll edit accordingly.

I've been fortunate to try the '07 and '08 Darkness and am now sampling the '09.

Well, this is one is a disappointment. '07 is plain and simply, the tits and '08 is like a bowel movement after having the spiciest indian food you've ever eaten.

Appearance is good, pitch black with a two finger head that wuickly fades to small bubbles.

Smell is dark fruits with a nice hoppy backbone.

Taste is again good, not great. The hop bite is there first, followed closely by the not-as-overpowing sweetness that plagued the '08 edition.

Mouthfeel is the best part of the '09 edition. Silky smooth all they way down into my belly.

The overpowering sweetness really hurts the drinkability of this brew.

In short, Darkness and I have a love hate relationship, much like the re-launch of Doctor Who. '07 is Tennant, the 10th Doctor, arguably the best. '08 is Eccleston, the 9th Doctor, far too cheeky for its own good, and the '09 is Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor, there's promise, but right now it has some pretty big shoes to fill to be the best.

Cedromar, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of portia99
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle (2009 version), shared among several friends, courtesy of nonstick. Thanks Chris! Poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours a totally opaque pitch black -no light gets thru at all. Two fingers of dense cappuccino head with good staying power. Head has great styaing power which is amazing considering the high level of alcohol in this one.

S - Cocoa, baker's chocolate, a bit of pruny fruitiness, a tiny amount of molasses, a bit hoppy - smells a bit green.

T - Incredibly smooth. Tons of chocolate - (dark, milk,bittersweet), dark fruits, some sugary sweetness, dark roasted malts, molasses, some hop presence.

M - Silky smooth...a close second to the BA Blackout. Carbonation is low and fits nicely...very full bodied. A bit oily and coats the mouth completely.

D - Excellent imperial stout. Alcohol really isn't noticeable which is scary. Loving this stout...definitely lives up to its reputation. Excellent - highly recommended.

portia99, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of mbudner
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 release, big thanks to rpohagan for this one. Poured into a delerium tulip/snifter.

A- Pours a deep black, dare I say Darkness. Deep tan to mocha 1-finger head leaving spotty lacing.

S-Very sweet smelling. Molasses and chocolate. Very different from the 2008 I sampled fresh last year, which was quite hoppy.

T-Mmmm mmm mmm. This is a fine one. Very sweet with subtle soy sauce notes (it's pretty young at this point, but I'm still getting some.) Some bitter roasted malts and definitely a fair amount of sweet molasses-like flavor. The sweetness gives way to a decent hop profile for a stout of this magnitude.

MF- Nice and creamy with subtle carbonation and very full-bodied. Really well done on the mouthfeel. The sweetness doesn't leave a cloying flavor/feeling.

D- Like I said with the mouthfeel, nice and sweet, but doesn't become cloying at all. Alcohol is completely masked and I could have probably finished the bomber no problem (but I split it with a friend because you can't just crush Darkness alone.)

mbudner, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
4.1/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken at Greg's epic Wall St. tasting - thats how we do baby!

A - Pitch black, with a medium tan that recedes rather quickly - especially for the style.

S - SUPER hoppy, to the point of being one dimensional. If I'm going to drink a RIS I want to know thats what I'm drinking. If my RIS is going to be hoppy, I desire a balance.

T - Very hoppy despite the age. Indeed, overly hop forward. A bit smoky underneath with lots of roasted malts and some cherries. An interesting approach no doubt, but not what I personally desire. If I'm going to have 600 calories in my glass, I want to taste every one of them! Nonetheless, very glad I tried it and one I will seek out again.

M - Somewhere between medium and full bodied.

D - Again, an interesting and innovative approach to the style. As of now the jury is still out, so I must seek this out again.

NYCWheatFanSC, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of camp0474
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Darkness poured into a tulip whiskey snifter

A: Dark tan head, frothy at first. Deep reddish purple color, very close to black.

S: Dried dark fruit and molasses. Maybe prune or black cherry. Smells sweet. Many complex smells that are hard to pin down.

T: Dark fruit with a bit of malt. Very sweet. Dark cherry or plum. No trace if hops until they punch through in the finish. The hop oils linger on the tongue after you swallow. Wouldn't be Surly without the hops, makes this beer even better. Hints of alcohol, not a surprise at this ABV. Multiple layers of complex flavors from start to finish.

M: Thick and chewy. Very fine carbonation bubbles.

D: Good drinkability for a beer this strong. Not an everyday beer but a very enjoyable experience, especially in cold weather.

Definitely worth the time and trouble to seek out this limited beer. Glad I picked up mutiple bottles when I did.
Another great unique beer from Surly.

camp0474, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of herman77
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle. Poured into a Glencairn whisky glass.

A: Dark, dark purple, pretty much black. Reddish tan head. Some sticky lacing.

S: Lots of dark, dried fruits. Molasses. Too much going on for me to comprehend.

T: Tons of dark, rich fruit. Very sweet up front. Malty sweetness. Dates, dark cherries? No sign of hops, then it comes out of nowhere and attacks the tongue in the finish. I can pretty much feel the residual hop oils after I swallow. There is a lot going on in this RIS.

M: Full bodied for sure. Thick, chewy and smooth. Carbonation is odd, but in a good way. Little "micro bubbles."

D: Great for a cold night. For how rich it is, it has great drinkability. It defiantly sneaks up on you though.

*2010 Vintage*
A: Black as can be. Moderate dark brown, bubbly head. Decent lacing. 4.5

S: Rich dark chocolate. Dark fruits, cherries, molasses, vanilla. Some roasted malt and a hint of citrus hops. A little bit of alcohol in the background too. 4.5

T: Sweet roasted malts. Dark bittersweet chocolate and dark fruits. More vanilla and thick molasses. Its sweet for sure, but not overly sweet. The roasted malt and hops balance it out very well. Some citrus, pine hops and bitter roasted coffee come on near the finish. Doesn't seem as hoppy as last year's and not as sweet. Still just as good. 4.5

M: Fuller body, not quite as thick as I thought it would be. Low carbonation. 4

D: Very good drinkability. There is a touch of booziness, but it still goes down fairly easy. Good balance, tasty. 4.5

herman77, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Rich dark viscous motor oil. one finger size head thats a tannish brown.

S: huge chocolate raisins has some bright bitterness coming though. lots of roastiness with deep dark fruit tones. has some citrus faint lemon oragne

T: Really like the citrus of the hops contrasting with the large roasted malt. chocolate orange light raspberry truffle type flavor. after each sip i take i want another and another. once it starts to warm a little coffee comes out with some darker more bitter chocolate. i keep thinking of a chocolate covered strawberry with a dab of bitterness. really really tasty.

M: Get a nice slick mouth feel that completely covers. really nice carbonation that blows up if you leave it in your mouth to long. It makes you drink it. after swallowing a couple times the bitterness comes through and dries my mouth out making me want to have another sip even more.

D: 10.3% isnt exactly the biggest beer but this beer just disappears after every sip. super super smooth and lucious. bitterness compliments the big malts really well. i could down this whole bottle in 30 minutes

chefmikeanderson, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of seniorcleaver
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was an '09 bottle, thanks to chefmikeanderson for the taste.
A- nice dark pour with thin 1 finger layer of tan head.
S- lots of dark fruit, sweet caramel and roast malts
T- Nice balance of sweet and roasty, hints of chocolate in the finish, some fig and raisin up front. Pretty smooth beer not too much roughness for such a young bottle.
M- Good mouthfeel, not to thick but still plenty of body to this beer.
D- LIke most RIS its more of a sipper. but i could easily finish a whole bottle of this tasty beer.

Overall a very good beer, I have been looking forward to trying this one for a while. I would drink this one again in a heart beat.

seniorcleaver, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of dfillius
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed in a snifter. Thanks go out to Loyal for hooking a brother up, and to Boozemart for stocking it! Enjoyed a golden waxed bottle on 12/12/09

A: I love the label art. Moderate pour yields one finger of dark brown head with great retention and a pretty, Guinness-esque cascade. Tight foam with superb retention. Opaque black liquid. This beer looks ideal and sets the bar high for others.
S: Coffee, cherry, citrus hop, earthy oakiness and some ethyl alcohol at the end.
T: Lots of flavor in here. Coffee, chocolate, strong vanilla, some estery alcohol, raisin, peach, plum. The alcohol is thankfully restrained. This beer tastes very sweet, like candy but is definitely not cloying. Very near perfect.
M: Very smooth, silky even. Some warmth never turns to heat. Perfect.
D: Way high. One of the best RISs I've had. I liked better than Abyss and Oak Aged Yeti. Where's the alcohol? I'd track this down again and I'm glad I bought another bottle to share with friends and family in CA.

dfillius, Feb 24, 2010
Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,837 ratings.